An attempt was made to study the drug prescription and dispensing practices at a tertiary care hospital. The prescription and dispensing practices at the hospital were studied using the WHO drug use core prescribing and patient care indicators. Predesigned formats were used to collect the data. Average number of drugs per prescription, percentage of antibiotics, percentage of injections, percentage under generic names, and percentage from essential drug list were the prescribing indicators while average consultation and dispensing times, percentage of drugs dispensed, patient's knowledge of correct dosage and percentage of drugs adequately labelled were the patient care indicators studied. A database was created in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and each of these indicators was calculated using standard formulae. Average number of drugs per prescription was 2.88. Around 3.80 percent of drugs prescribed were antibiotics, 2.50 percent of drugs were injections. About 81 percent of drugs were prescribed with generic names and 83.88 percent of drugs were from essential list drugs. Average consultation time by the doctor was 16.10 min. Average dispensing time was 7.20 min. Only 88.46% of the prescribed drugs were dispensed, while 84% of the drugs were adequately labelled. Around 76% of the patients knew the correct dosages of the drugs prescribed to them. Periodic appraisal of prescribing practices not only helps in promotion of rational drug prescribing practices but also in rational drug use policy at the health facility.
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